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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old July 6th, 2007, 12:13 AM   #1
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HV20 Sensor Problem

My HV20, which has performed flawlessly, started showing an alarming red vertical line that rendered all footage useless. It happened as I was shooting - no reason, out of the blue.

I am feeling that, while it's under warrenty, even if it fixes itself, that I should have this unit replaced - I can't have this happen again on an important shoot.

Thoughts?

Please save to disk (76MB QT File):
http://hv20.teack.net/movies/HV20_Re...oblem_H264.mov
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Old July 6th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #2
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Use your warranty and get a replacement. You have a dead sensor it seems (or, part of it).
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Old July 6th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #3
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It comes and goes now, but yeah, I'd say it's on it's way out.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #4
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A red vertical line? I've never heard of anything like that. I'm guessing it's either an "in camera special effect" or you have a problem and this is what it is.

It's a problem with how the chips are processing the colors, I would have to say the blue and green color records on that line are not being read and only picking up the red color record. If you where to set the camera to only shoot footage in black and white then you can just replace the camera but if still under warrenty, then that means that you have a defective product which is your camera and you should send it back to either be fixed or replaced free of charge.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #5
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I've contacted Canon Canada and they're happy to take a look at it.

As one would gather from reading this forum, there are no other reports of problems with the HV20 at this time, so I'm not at all worried. Seems my HV20's problem is an isolated event. It's never been dropped or mishandled, and I've put approx. 15 tapes through it by now, in addition to capturing the 4:2:2 component stream. It's mid-body (near where the sensor is located) gets warm after it's been on standby for a while, but I assume that's normal. I'll be happy to get it back, or replacement - the HV20 is a fantastic camera.

Shipping it soon to Vancouver to be looked at - Ill post updates when I receive more information.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #6
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Distraught...

What am I to do?

My HV20 was returned to me yesterday – new main circuit board apparently; the CMOS chip was not replaced. It took seven weeks – nearly TWO MONTHS for Canon to view, repair and return my HV20. Two months during the best months of the year for my shooting, for Canon to fix a brand new camera that, in my opinion, should have been replaced flat out due to the nature of it’s problem and how new the unit was and how it wasn’t mistreated.

To make matters far worse, I shot footage with it yesterday – and the problem is still there.. there is a vertical black line ruining my footage. It’s in a different area – left side of the image rather than the right, but it’s evident.

I’m worried…

If I return it to be ‘repaired’ again, chances are it’ll be gone another two months.. that’s four months total of use that I’d be paying for with lost warranty time (and evidently, my unit NEEDS its warranty)!

That’s 1/3 of a year without my camera! Unacceptable, even if I was a consumer rather than a prosumer user, that’s unfair…I absolutely need Canon to replace my unit with a fresh one, and quickly. I have the biggest shoot of my life coming up, and this is little wonder is the star.. 24P, 35mm lenses, HD-SDI 4:2:2 capture.. it’s more than a minor component of the system. And no, I don’t have the budget to go and buy another one – and I don’t believe I should be required to.

What are my options?

EDIT: What are my options in dealing with Canon? I need them to flat-out replace the unit at this point.
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Last edited by Robert Ducon; August 25th, 2007 at 02:58 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Ducon View Post
What are my options?
Have you pursued this to the fullest extent possible with the company that sold it to you? I'm sure they want you to handle it as you are, with Canon, but there is a chance they might be willing to do something... maybe lend you a demo unit? Have you searched for a rental?
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Old August 25th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #8
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Robert, you need to call their Customer Service department (same place where you first shipped it for repair) and make a complaint that it's still not fixed... make absolutely sure that you include a tape which proves your claim. Don't settle for anything less than a replacement. Let us know how it goes please,
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Old February 27th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #9
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The issue, Chapter 3....

To start, I was using my friend's account, Robert Ducon's, way more than he was until I've finally just got my own account recently. This HV20 sensor problem has always been with my camera, and now I have my own account, so I'll continue on here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Robert, you need to call their Customer Service department (same place where you first shipped it for repair) and make a complaint that it's still not fixed... make absolutely sure that you include a tape which proves your claim. Don't settle for anything less than a replacement. Let us know how it goes please,
Chris, I've asked to speak to a supervisor, but the support personnel won't pass me through, despite patiently, sufficiently explaining the situation and experience and theory of the problem.

I absolutely agree – this should have been dealt with early on as a replacement, and at this stage, with the amount of inconvenience it’s caused me, a very strong Canon HV20 supporter, I think it’s fair and reasonable that a swap for a new unit (with a new warranty) occurs.

I spoke again with Canon last week, and they asked me to send in an e-mail with pictures of the problem. However, I * already * sent in an HDV tape with a very clear illustration of the problem when I originally sent the camera back! This is going in circles.

To make matters worse, they took very near two months to ‘service’ my HV20 – I had been quoted 15 business days when I sent it away – and returned it with it still exhibiting the exact same problem, to the pixel.

I scrambled at the 11th hour, to find a loaner to shoot my production which was to roll in a week. I’m a student, starting an entrepreneurial promotion business, and I had just enough cash to get it done. The HV20 was an integral part of the process a) it was my only camera b) a great camera for the money, and allowed me to invest in a Cinevate Brevis 35mm adapter and HD-capture card. The shoot was a success, and as far as I know, the only production shot with an HV20 capturing RAW 4:2:2 digital HD into a Mac Pro on a set with a Cinevate Brevis 35mm adapter:

http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/FMW_HD_Frame_01.jpg
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/FMW_HD_Frame_03.jpg
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/FMW_HD_Frame_04.jpg
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/FMW_HD_Frame_06.jpg
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/FMW_HD_Frame_11.jpg

I directed, D.O.P’d, produced and edited this, all without my core camera functioning, and with the limited resources I had, was lucky to get a replacement!

I wrote a letter to Canon, as per a customer service person’s request for images showing proof of the problem:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Dear Canon,

This email is a follow-up to a conversation I had by phone with Canon technical support last week, February 21, 2008.

My 'Canon HV20 A' is defective due to a manufacturer defect and I believe unit replacement is a fair request. I purchased it on March 30th, of 2007. Already in for a lengthy repair at Canon Calgary, the problem was not solved by any means. As I’ve stated in two conversations with technical phone support, I suspect that the imager system is defective, but whatever the nature of the problem is, the camera has become unusable for my profession.

The problem is best described as vertical banding, a red/black line appearing intermittently on footage. It appears on all images produced by the camera: HDV recording, live out-put via HDMI/Component/Composite to a uncompressed HD capture card, and in-camera still image recording.

My HV20 was sent by Canon dealers 'Victoria Camera Traders' to Canon Calgary on July 13, 2007, for repair after only 3 months of ownership. When it was returned to me from Canon Canada on August 23, 2007 - a seven week repair time - the problem was still present despite a 'replaced main circuit board and reprogram' as per the invoice. I sent an HDV tape with the camera to Canon to demonstrate recorded examples of the problem, so the issue has been well documented. I turned on the camera the next day, and the problem was clearly there, at the same intensity and location on the image as it has been.

Before the problem, I had been very impressed with the quality of the image and the amount of features available with the camera. I have touted the HV20's abilities to individuals and non-profit societies in the Victoria BC region for the past year, and to filmmaking communities over the internet. I know that I have at least helped to influence purchases of the HV20 to at least 5 individuals within my filmmaking circle in Victoria. Lens and Shutter Victoria, Victoria Camera Service, and users of the website DVInfo.com, are all aware of this situation.

Despite being an ardent supporter of Canon and the HV20, I have been unfairly inconvenienced by the inability to use a product that I paid $1500 for at the time of sale. Nearly two months of my warranty/and use of the camera are written off, as the camera wasn't repaired when it was out of my hands for the 2 months of 'repair', and since the date of return, I have been unable to use the unit. It has proven unreliable and defective and the footage is unusable with the professional results that are integral to my line of work. In order to meet deadlines I've had to borrow another HV20 to keep up with paying committments. In short, I have only had the use of this camera for approximately two months since I purchased it, April 2007 and June 2007. Beginning July 5th, 2007, the camera became unusable.

It would be unreasonable for me to wait for another repair, especially if the outcome is the same: a near two months and no fix. If this happened, the camera would be returned outside of the warranty window and could result in an untreated unit. This would be unacceptable.

Again, I am a supporter of Canon, but I expect this matter to be closed satisfactorily and in a fair manner with a new unit.

Sincerely,

- Christopher Ruffell

I have included various still images taken with the camera's still function, as well as links to video downloads that soundly illustrate the problem.

Original Full Size Still Images:
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/IMG_0289.JPG
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/IMG_0306.JPG
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/IMG_0307.JPG
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/IMG_0308.JPG

1280x720 Video Clip (76MB, 1:16 seconds)
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/HV20_Re...oblem_H264.mov

*HDMI Uncompressed Captured 1920x1080 60i Apple Prores 422 HQ Clip (275 MB, 0:07 seconds)
http://chrisruffell.com/hv20/HV20_42..._1920x1080.mov



*NOTE: This was *not* a played back recording from an HDV tape: The uncompressed clip was a LIVE data stream captured from the HDMI port to a clean HDMI-to-HD-SDI convertor to a professional Decklink HD Extreme uncompressed video capture card - this is as close to a near to a fully digital, loss-less, uncompressed HV20 signal as one can imagine and is primarily intended for use with professional-grade cameras such as the XH-G1, Sony XDCAM/Cinealtas and the Panasonic Varicams.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 05:39 PM   #10
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I really feel bad for you. This should never had occurred nor should the extended length of time to repair the camera .


Take the camera back to where you purchased the HV-20. The retailer should contact his/her CANON sales representative. The sales rep. then can get you a new camera and assign an RMA via the REP. ACCOUNT. That is how it is done here in my area of the U.S. You should not have even been advised to send a NEW camera in for a repair. The retailer should have used the above procedure. I know this as a fact.

Best of luck to you. I wish you the best.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 11:21 PM   #11
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I say give the man TWO HV30's!!

I cannot imagine why they failed to fix your camera, and really they should have swapped it out with such major issues - Don't know if Canada has the equivalent of lemon laws, but I should think you've got a fine case of lemonade...
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:20 AM   #12
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Canon's reply - not offering replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Bruno View Post
I really feel bad for you. This should never had occurred nor should the extended length of time to repair the camera .

Take the camera back to where you purchased the HV-20. The retailer should contact his/her CANON sales representative. The sales rep. then can get you a new camera and assign an RMA via the REP. ACCOUNT. That is how it is done here in my area of the U.S. You should not have even been advised to send a NEW camera in for a repair. The retailer should have used the above procedure. I know this as a fact.
Lou, Dave, thanks so much. I've spoken to sales persons at London Drugs where the HV20 is also sold, and they too said the camera would have to be sent to Canon as it is part of their service agreement to not replace defective units.

I just got an e-mail back from Canon about no more than half an hour ago:
--------------------------------------------------------------------


Dear Valued Customer

Thank you for your E-mail inquiry regarding your HV20.

We have successfully received your images and video Mr. Ruffell. Upon inspection we do see the problem you have noted in your e-mail. We also feel this is a malfunction with the camcorder unit. As such, I recommend that your product be forwarded to an Canon Canada Factory Facility for inspection and review. Please include your name, address, daytime telephone number, copy of your bill of sale and a brief description of the symptom(s). Including sample images/video on CD/DVD would also assist the service facility. Upon receipt, the Service Facility will advise you accordingly.

Please note that Canon Canada does not offer return, exchange or refund services. Products that are found to be malfunctioning are serviced and repaired to factory specification. If you have questions about your warranty please review the terms and conditions as outlined on your warranty card.

Please find below, the name, address and telephone number of your nearest facility for your reference.

CANON CANADA INC.
2828 16 ST NE
CALGARY, AB, T2E7K7
Tel.: 403/219-5939

Should you require further assistance, please feel free to email us or visit our customer support website at http://www.canon.ca







Sincerely,



James D.

Technical Support Representative

Customer Information Centre

Canon Canada Inc.



----------------------------------------------------
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Old February 29th, 2008, 02:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Ruffell View Post

We have successfully received your images and video Mr. Ruffell. Upon inspection we do see the problem you have noted in your e-mail. We also feel this is a malfunction with the camcorder unit. As such, I recommend that your product be forwarded to an Canon Canada Factory Facility for inspection and review. Please include your name, address, daytime telephone number, copy of your bill of sale and a brief description of the symptom(s). Including sample images/video on CD/DVD would also assist the service facility. Upon receipt, the Service Facility will advise you accordingly.

Please note that Canon Canada does not offer return, exchange or refund services. Products that are found to be malfunctioning are serviced and repaired to factory specification. If you have questions about your warranty please review the terms and conditions as outlined on your warranty card.

Should you require further assistance, please feel free to email us or visit our customer support website at http://www.canon.ca

----------------------------------------------------
Canon acknowledge the problem as a malfunction of the camera, but then require you to contact a different department with a description of the problem and samples on CD/DVD? Are they kidding? All this after sending it to a Canon repair facility - for repair - to begin with??? And they've already breached their contract by failing to repair the camera to factory specs as required.

FWIW, Canon Canada warranty states "Defective parts will be exchanged for new parts or, at Canon Canada's option, comparable rebuilt parts for a period of ONE YEAR from the date of original purchase, except for a defective Video Head, which will be exchanged for a period of three months from the date of purchase.

So, yes, they do offer "exchange" service, as per the warranty.

Case closed - the camera is defective - replace with a new camera or, at Canon Canada's option, comparable rebuilt camera. With what you've had to go through, they really should replace with a brand new camera and stop screwing around.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 03:38 PM   #14
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If they have a toll free number I'd ratchet up the pressure a notch (e-mail can be rather easy to use to blow off a serious problem). Let them know you've stated your "customer service experience" in a forum frequented by professionals, and that the consensus is that they tried to fix it, took too darn long, and didn't FIX a thing, and that they should seriously consider replacing the camera ASAP and send you a fruit basket in apology!

For the small amount it would cost them to make you a satisfied customer, their position is inexcusable!

You might also see if there's a "president of Canon Canada" and call directly - that usually gets results if you can sleuth out the contact info.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:22 PM   #15
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Christopher, as Dave suggested...call them... I have had some recent issues with Canon myself that were remedied...but only because I was persistent in calling. I even got the same rep on the phone more than once. Good luck.
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